Unique Program FeaturesThe UDM Counseling program prides itself on being unique---on offering a richer graduate experience. We accomplish this in several ways, from our emphasis on the personal and professional development of students to the ideological foundations or values upon which the program rests.
Student-Centered EnvironmentWe strive to create a student-centered environment, and most of our students choose UDM's Counseling program because of this. Our average class size is 14 and clinical skill development courses are capped at even lower enrollments of 8 and 12 to ensure the most effective learning environment. We believe that promoting a student-centered environment requires committed faculty, an engaging academic climate, and dedication to the personal and professional identity of all students. As a result, we strive to achieve each of these integral components.
The Counseling curriculum is developmentally designed to progressively meet the needs of students while ensuring an effective foundation upon which to engage in deep learning. There are four levels of learning that comprise the curricular structure.
The curriculum begins with theoretically-based and knowledge courses (e.g., counseling theories, human development) forming the first level while the initial skills courses comprise the second level (e.g., counseling skills, testing & evaluation). Moving into the third level, students are exposed to higher order learning in both theory and skill development (e.g., counseling strategies and interventions, group counseling). Finally, the fourth level consists of the three cumulative learning experiences that initially include the Practicum and the major Research project and ultimately culminates in the Internship (field placement) in Counseling. Each of these cumulative learning experiences allow students to utilize the sum of their knowledge and skills during the intense final year of the program.
The UDM Counseling Clinic prepares our students to meet the challenges of an ever-changing society. All Counseling students complete their Practicum experience in the Counseling Clinic, a fully operational no-cost mental health clinic serving community members without access to mental health services. UDM's Practicum provides a rigorous training experience that challenges students to apply their clinical skill development in real-life counseling situations.
The Counseling Clinic is one of the key features of the UDM Counseling program, arguably offering the most intense Practicum training available. In addition to the Clinic serving as a key part of the UDM Counseling program, as a no-cost mental health clinic solely operated by the UDM Counseling program, the Clinic exemplifies our program's commitment to service and social justice. The Clinic is fully staffed by students, alumni, and faculty.
Financial Support for Counseling Students & Alumni
There are several forms of financial support available for the Master’s programs in Counseling that include:
Graduate Research Assistantship Stipends (GRA)
Financial support available each year to all Counseling students. GRA’s are designed to enhance the graduate school experience by allowing students to work directly with faculty on specific research projects expanding their research skills and preparing students for careers as scientist-practitioners while receiving financial support. In addition to the GRA, an annual scholarship is available to a Counseling student to provide operational and administrative support in UDM's no-cost Counseling Clinic.
60% K-12 Educators Tuition Remission Program
Employed K-12 Michigan educators are eligible for 60% tuition remission when enrolled in the UDM Counseling program.
Loan Forgiveness for Counselors
Because Counseling has been identified as a national need program by the United States government, several federal loan forgiveness programs have been established that offer specific support to Master’s level Counselors. Because this federal legislation will require time to fully implement, individuals should continue to await further information as it becomes available. Briefly, the programs include the following:
- A portion of debt or complete debt forgiveness for counselors working in public service fields (including mental health and education)
- Up to $10,000 for school counselors working in low-income schools
- Up to $50,000 for loan repayment of Licensed Professional Counselors, http://nhsc.bhpr.hrsa.gov/applications/